Cargo plane crashes in Karachi residential area

By Faisal Aziz, Reuters

KARACHI — A plane carrying eight people crashed early on Sunday in a residential area of Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city, setting buildings on fire.

Police chief Fayyaz Leghari said five people were killed. Ambulance services said there were no survivors. Express 24/7 television said 10 people died.

The plane went down about one minute after taking off from Karachi airport, the Civil Aviation Authority said. Spokesman Pervez George said it was a Russian cargo aircraft bound for the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, and all crew members were Russian.

The plane hit a building under construction at a navy housing complex. Several unoccupied buildings nearby caught fire. Rescue workers brought a huge blaze under control.

Nisar Ali was sitting at his home with friends about one km away. “At first we thought it was a flare and then we ran to the area and realized it was a crash,” he said. Hundreds of people gathered at the site.

On November 5 a small plane chartered to an international oil company crashed after taking off from Karachi airport, killing all 21 people on board.

A Pakistani passenger plane crashed in heavy rain near Islamabad in July, killing all 152 on board, Pakistan’s worst aviation accident.